OBJECTIVE: To examine the information needs of users of the Stanford Health Information Network for Education (SHINE), an integrated information retrieval (IR) system. METHODS: A subset of queries from the SHINE log were categorized into one or more of 33 categories. RESULTS: Drugs and infectious disease accounted for 25% of categorizations, and otherwise the distribution of categorizations was quite broad. CONCLUSIONS: Attention should be paid to the selection of drug information resources in medical knowledge information retrieval systems. The distribution of query categorizations also suggests that IR systems include a wide range of knowledge resources.